Sunday, 12 February 2012

Birding the Slippery Slopes

After a long drive on Thursday, we reckoned a walk in town would provide a nice counterpoint. So on Saturday morning the four of us set out to bird the Sandy Beach area on the Elbow River, below the Glenmore dam. Phil walks this route regularly with his dog, and had recently seen several bird species which are not yet on the team list.
Ray, Phil & Mike along the Elbow River in Calgary
It was a sunny morning, around minus 15 when we started, and a light southerly wind which made for a more typical winter’s day than we have had of late. It was also extremely slippery underfoot, with a thin layer of snow on top of ice, so climbing out of the valley and back down again required some care. There were good numbers of birds around, and we logged twenty species in just over two hours, but disappointingly nothing new for the list.
Wood Ducks

Fortunately we were able to find a male and two female Wood Ducks at their usual winter haunt further downstream on the Elbow River, thereby avoiding being skunked. At Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, we looked for a Harlequin Duck on the Bow River without success.

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